Nintendo Direct 2-13-14 & Indie Games

So, I’m sure you have already seen the Nintendo Direct that was given earlier today. If you haven’t, you can click here to view it. Here are the really key things to know about it, if you don’t want to watch a 41 minute video:

  1. Upcoming Smash Bros. keeps getting more awesome (Lil Mac punches in!)
  2. Some inconsequential stuff (Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball)
  3. Free-to-play Nintendo title could lead the way to a new Nintendo frontier (Steel Diver sequel)
  4. 3DS games (Yoshi’s New Island, new Professor Layton, Inazuma Eleven, etc.)
  5. Child of Light (looks freaking AWESOME)
  6. Mariokart 8 (Koopa Kids!!! Yes. I call them the Koopa Kids still)
  7. Monolith Studio’s X! (No release date yet, though)
  8. Bayonetta 2! (No release date, yet again)
  9. Indie games galore!

Now, what is most interesting to me….well, Smash Bros, Mariokart, X, and Bayonetta interest me as well, but we’ve already been given information and videos on those…is the Indie game scene. There have been some terrific articles that have been written, as some well done lists. There was a great interview with the creators of Armillo on Dromble.com (click here), and their views regarding support for Nintendo and the Wii U system. There was a great list of upcoming indie games created by Nintendo Enthusiast here. And in Direct today there was a specific section regarding some bigger upcoming indie titles, such as Moon Chronicles, Treasurenauts, Shovel Knight, & 1001 Spikes. This was very interesting to me: Nintendo seems to really be making connections and relationships with smaller game developers. Yes, they have the big games coming out by more known companies (or Nintendo themselves), which will help with sales for the year. But the indie developers are where (I think) the talk to should be.

Let’s talk in hypotheticals, because…well, I want to. Now, I understand hypotheticals are exactly that; they aren’t facts and set in stone because they haven’t happened yet. But hey, since today’s Nintendo Direct was kind of a let down for me, I’m going to dream with this. Anyway, Nintendo builds these relationships with all these indie game developers, making it easy for them to put games on their system, which can both appeal to casual and hardcore gamers. This is good for everyone, and it’s a twofold thing.

For one, the more indie games on the Wii U and 3DS systems, the more it means Nintendo wants the “little guy” to win and be successful. This can propel Nintendo into something like “the gamer’s company” (remember, speaking hypotheticals here). They give these small companies – trying to make a name for themselves, while making incredibly creative games, which spurs on competition with other developers to make even better games – a chance to step into the spotlight and shine. That’s a huge deal, in my opinion.

Secondly, let’s say just five out of the many small developers make a few games that are really successful, and they can expand into a much larger company. And what if one of those companies was to make the “next big hit” in the general gaming world, making them a more common gaming name. Even if they decide to start making games across all platforms, who do you think they will stay loyal to in some aspect?

Now, this is all speculation, and depends on various factors, but why can’t we dream a little? If Nintendo continues this trend and really gets behind these indie devs, it can really pay off. Of course, this won’t pay off for some time down the road, but that’s why you have the big titles; to bring in the money while these relationships build. All that being said, I am REALLY looking forward to a few indie games coming out; specifically Armillo and Moon Chronicles.

And that’s my dreaming for the day. What do you think about Nintendo’s backing of indie developers? Do you think it’s a smart move, or perhaps simply inconsequential?

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